Wednesday, 17 July 2013

PSG complete Cavani capture, Digne deal done?

They say the best things come to those who wait, and that was certainly the case yesterday as the assembled media waited two hours to meet Paris Saint-Germain’s new striker, Edinson Cavani.

Selling club Napoli took the blame for the delay, having apparently been slow to return some documents needed to complete the €64million transfer, though I have my suspicions that Leonardo kidnapped the Uruguayan and took him for a drive round Paris as part of a humorous final day prank.

Anyway, Cavani is here now and apparently happy to have made his move. Stand by for some bland quotes and repeated references to the “project”.

“I'd like to say how happy I am to be a part of this side and this project,” he said.

“My overwhelming emotions at the moment are joy, confidence, desire and a strong motivation to win important trophies here. The sporting project at this club is very ambitious and a great source of motivation.”

Let’s face it, I doubt many football fans would be unhappy if Cavani pitched up at their club. I mean, look at his face; as a man with an unblemished record of heterosexuality covering my entire life to date, I’m not afraid to say he’s an extremely beautiful creature.

But quite apart from his strong cheekbones and voluminous, glossy hair, Cavani’s record on the pitch is not to be sniffed at. His 78 goals in 108 Napoli appearances puts him right up there with the world’s top strikers, and a potential partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a mouth-watering prospect.

Whether Zlatan will hang around long enough to get acquainted with his new team-mate is open to debate, with various reports suggesting that Ibra, like Wayne Rooney, is angry and confused and wants a move away.

While being angry and confused is Rooney’s natural state, Zlatan’s unhappiness supposedly stems from the appointment of Laurent Blanc as his new boss, and it will be interesting to see whether he makes any comment on his future after returning to training tomorrow. So far camp Ibra has been very quiet, with even his rent-a-quote agent Mino Raiola playing his cards close to his chest.

“Ibra is sure [to stay]”, said President Nasser yesterday. “He will play with Cavani”.

Remember, this is a man who thought he could keep Ancelotti despite Carletto explicitly stating he wanted to leave. And a man who comes out with statements like this:

“Cavani did not choose Paris for the money, believe me 100 per cent. He believes in the project, he believes that with us, he will be able to win many titles.”

That clears than up then. Another man seduced by a big bag of cash the project is Lille left-back Lucas Digne, who was in Paris today for a medical and is likely to sign a five-year-contract any time now.

Yesterday was Leonardo’s last day in his role as Sporting Director. The Brazilian had been expected to stay on until the end of the summer transfer window, but presumably has a pressing engagement with a beach somewhere.

“Leonardo's departure is sad for me. It's his decision, I wish him all the best,” Nasser said, before elaborating on the reasons for his departure.

“The media were aggressive with him. He did not feel the proper recognition for what he did. In last two years, he has done a lot. Yet all that was said or written about him was negative, it was not fair.”

Poor Leo, that squeaking noise you can hear is all the other clubs in Ligue 1 playing a symphony on the worlds’ tiniest violins.

Nasser added that he has not yet decided on whether to bring in another sporting director, and said the club’s management structure could change. Worryingly, this could include David Beckham being appointed as Special Advisor to the president. God help us.


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